College Basketball

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Syracuse fends off St. John's at MSG

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - C.J. Fair and Tyler Ennis each scored 21 points in the second-ranked Syracuse Orange's 68-63 victory over the St. John's Red Storm at Madison Square Garden.

Jerami Grant added 14 points for the Orange (10-0), who shot 54.5 percent from the field.

D'Angelo Harrison ended with 21 points for the Red Storm (6-3), who have lost nine straight against Syracuse. Rysheed Jordan and Jakarr Sampson tallied 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Trailing 44-32 in the early stages of the second half, St. John's went on a 10-2 run to make it close. Sampson tallied six points during the spurt, including a jumper with 13:23 remaining to make it a four-point contest.

The Red Storm used a 14-5 spurt moments later to take the lead. Jordan capped the flurry with a pair of free throws to make it 58-56 with 7:21 left.

Ennis made two free throws with 4:39 remaining to spark a 10-1 Syracuse run. Ennis tallied six points during the spurt, including a pair of free throws with 42 seconds left to make it 68-61.

St. John's was held without a field goal for the final 5:48.

Holding a 14-13 edge with less than 12 minutes to go in the first half, the Orange put together a 7-0 spurt. Rakeem Christmas capped the flurry with two free throws and a jumper.

Syracuse maintained its margin and held a 39-27 lead at the break.

"I was really disappointed with how we played in the first half," St. John's coach Steve Lavin said. "I thought we played as poorly as we've played this whole year in the first half, and as well as we have all year in the second half. The last four minutes is where Syracuse separated. I was really disappointed by the first half, really encouraged by the second half, but didn't like our finish at all."

Game Notes

Syracuse holds a 51-37 lead in the all-time series between these former Big East foes ... St. John's shot 37.5 percent from the field and went 1-of-15 from beyond the arc.

12/15 17:16:20 ET

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